The facility: Do you know that you can, in secret and extreme confidentiality, provide information on tax evasion to Zimra as a whistle blower and be rewarded 10 percent of the recovered amount?
Zimra has a facility of rewarding whistle-blowers for information received which, after verifications, results in the recovery of revenue, which would otherwise have been lost.
The whistle-blower facility is provided for in Section 34B of the Revenue Authority Act [Chapter 23:11], which reads in part: “The Commissioner-General may, with the approval of the Minister, award to any person, not being an employee of the Authority or a near relative of an employee of the Authority, a monetary reward for information provided or any measure taken which results in detection of smuggling or any other offence against any of the Acts specified in the First Schedule, and the recovery of revenue which would otherwise have been lost”.
The Acts referred to above are all the Acts of Parliament that are administered by Zimra. The amount to be awarded in terms of the mentioned Section 34B of the Revenue Authority Act is at a rate of ten percent of the recovered revenue. The revenue has to be paid first by the person/entity being investigated before the whistle-blower is paid. The 10 percent reward is deducted from the revenue paid by the person/entity being investigated.
The information submitted should conform to the following:
It should be very specific and detailed in nature with respect to how the evasion occurred, the tax head/s involved and the period (time) of the tax evasion.
It should be supported by credible evidence or clear indications of how the evidence can be accessed from the reported person/entity.
Please take note that general information, hearsay, or speculations, which do not prove specific violations of the Revenue Acts, the tax heads involved and the period of the offence, are not accepted for reward purposes.
A potential whistle-blower is required to complete a form where their personal details, offender details, and offence details are recorded. Please note that if Zimra is already working on the case, the case will not be accepted.
A whistle-blower is paid on 10 percent of the revenue recovered. However, were the person/entity being investigated is disputing the tax liability, the reward is suspended until the dispute is resolved. The suspension remains in force even if Zimra garnishees the person/entity and recovers the tax.
Protection of the whistle-blower
Confidentiality and protection of the whistle-blower is of paramount importance and is guaranteed by the Authority. The evidence submitted by the whistle-blower, is only used to guide investigations and is not availed to the person/entity being investigated.
Potential whistle-blowers are to make appointments with the office of the Commissioner Revenue Assurance and Special Projects, in person, to report potential tax evasion. The physical address to go to is: Zimra Head Office Reception located on 6th Floor, ZB Centre, corner Kwame Nkrumah/First St, Harare.
The following are some of the steps taken to protect the identity of the whistle blower;
All Zimra employees are bound by the Oath of Secrecy in terms of Section 34 A of the Revenue Authority Act not to disclose whistle-blower details.
There is a central and secure point for acceptance of information, which is the office of Commissioner Revenue Assurance and Special Projects.
The office receiving the information is not responsible for investigating the cases.
Investigators who deal with the cases have no access to the origins of the information.
The whistle blower does not know who the investigators of the case are.
NB: Zimra implores the whole populace of Zimbabwe to be ethical as they report these cases for investigation. Potential whistle-blowers are strongly advised not to use this facility for personal vendettas but only in cases of proven tax evasion.
Citizens can also report cases anonymously without applying for or expecting a reward. This can be done through any Zimra Office, Zimra suggestion boxes, emails, or social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and WhatsApp.
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Disclaimer: This article was compiled by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority for information purposes only. Zimra shall not accept responsibility for loss or damage arising from use of material in this article and no liability will attach to the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority.
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